Guides:A Guide for Doctors

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Introduction

This guide is intended specifically for doctors and medics. Anybody who is not a medic or doctor will find this guide absolutely useless.

As a doctor or medic, you're expected to be out in the field, standing next to several zombies, and be able to help make that gigantic 5 inch gash stop bleeding. However, the best part about it is that half the time you'll be in a building that might as well have a neon sign that says "HERE BE SURVIVORS! ZOMBIES COME HERE!" Whether a mall or a hospital, it doesn't matter; the only currently known locations to find FAKs effectively are prime targets for zombie attack.

So how are you expected to be able to survive? Read on...

The Basics (99% common sense)

It's a mean city out there. About 60% of the other players want you dead. (Let's assume for simplicity's sake that the game is about half zombies and half survivors.) Between Pkers and Zombies, how can anybody survive? Only with a lot of help from doctors and NecroTech employees. (Revivification is a separate topic, however.)

Basic information for the newbie

(Experienced players will find this section unnecessary and should skip to the next.)

If you're brand-new to Urban Dead, here are some things to remember when reading this guide:

  • Dying is bad. Avoid being killed: even though death is never permanent, it's annoying at best.
  • Zombies aren't very nice, and will most likely kill you. Or sing karaoke to you, which in some circles is considered just as deadly.
  • PKers will also kill you.
  • Always carry at least two or three FAKs, more if you can find them. Every time you heal someone, the FAK is consumed, and when you're out of FAKs, you can't heal anyone until you get more.
  • Churches also have first aid kits, but it's easier to find them in hospitals.
  • Until you have the Diagnosis skill, you won't be able to tell whether another character is wounded or at full HP. If you try to heal a healthy character, you'll get a message that says, "Character X is already at full health." When that happens, your FAK won't be consumed, but you will lose the AP anyway. Until April 2007, both Medics and Doctors began play with the First Aid skill; since that time, however, Doctors now start with Diagnosis instead. This gives the level-one Doctor a huge advantage over the newbie Medic, since docs no longer waste AP trying to heal healthy survivors.
  • First Aid itself is widely regarded as a mixed blessing. The skill allows you to heal ten HP instead of five for each heal attempt, which means you can heal twice as much damage for the same number of FAKs and AP spent (or heal the same amount of damage with half the number of FAKs and AP). However, you still only get five XP per heal no matter whether you heal five or ten HP, so XP gain is slower when you've got a limited supply of patients.

Choosing your starting class

Before you read on, decide whether or not you want to be a battle-ready doctor (Medic) or a behind-the-lines healer (Doctor). In terms of game mechanics, there are pros and cons to each, but these are mostly concerned with starting equipment (which becomes irrelevant after your first few days of scavenging) and the XP costs of acquiring new military or science skills (which will affect your rate of advancement throughout the life of the character). In addition gaining your 1st few levels will be harder than a doctor as you lack diagnose, and need more injured people for the same XP due to first aid.

If you choose to become a medic, you need to pay twice the XP (150 XP instead of 75) for Diagnosis and Surgery, skills a fully-experienced doctor needs, as well as the revivification skills later on. On the other hand, you will pay only half the XP for military skills, and because there are many more combat skills than science skills, you will max out your human skill tree faster. Getting First Aid as your starting skill also gives you a leg up on effectively maxing out; medics will therefore max out 75 XP sooner than members of other military classes, and only 25 XP later than a civilian character. You begin the game with one FAK and a pistol, the latter of which you can't effectively use for a while.

If you choose to become a doctor, the science skills come cheaply, but combat skills and the invaluable Free Running skill will cost you twice as much; the net result is that maxing out your human skill tree will eventually cost you more. If you do the math, it costs more XP to max out a scientist character (a doctor or a NecroTech Assistant) than any other starting character class; however, with the current available skills over the life of the character, it only costs a doctor 300 XP more than it costs a medic to max out. You start with two FAKs instead of one, which many characters believe is a fair trade in exchange for a pistol that you really can't use at level one. Additionally, now that doctors begin play with Diagnosis instead of First Aid as a starting skill, docs waste much less AP at low levels trying to heal healthy survivors.

Questions of game mechanics aside, many people choose one or the other for roleplaying reasons rather than game mechanics. Considering that the game mechanics implications described above are fairly minimal, the decision really comes down to what kind of a healer you see your character as and where you see your character operating.

Where should I go?

You have no control over where your character appears when you first create him/her. But that doesn't mean you have to stay in the area in which you first materialized, or even that you should.

There's a handy map located here that shows the safety levels of each suburb. As with starting classes, there are pros and cons to choosing a safer or a more dangerous suburb in which to operate. The safer the area, the less risky it is for you to stay in a hospital, which makes for less AP waste. On the other hand, the more dangerous the suburb, the more injured people will be around.

At level one, we suggest you try a yellow (not to be confused with orange) suburb; there are injured people to heal for XP, but it's not so dangerous that you won't be able to run out of AP in a hospital without getting killed.

Safety concerns aside, however, you may want to choose a different suburb for other reasons: you may wish to join a specific human group that operates only in a particular suburb, for example, or you may fancy your character operating out of one of Malton's many fine malls.

Once you're in a suitable suburb, keep reading.

"Thousands of zombies attacking me? No thanks..." - Doctors

This section is for people who like to shy away from the front line.

Hanging out your shingle: Why you need a hospital

The first thing you need to do is scout out a hospital with a barricade level that doesn't have the word heavily in it; you can't get into the building if the building is caded higher than very strongly barricaded.

  • From the map on the suburb page, click on the suburb you're in to be directed to a detailed map that will show you where all the hospitals are. Many suburb pages also have a barricade plan (or a link to one), and while these plans may or may not accurately reflect the current barricade level of the hospital once you get there, at least you'll know the accepted policy for that suburb.
  • Under the Uniform Barricading Policy, hospitals should be kept at a barricade level low enough for survivors to enter, but many local barricading plans either don't follow the UBP or barricade some of the hospitals in the suburb higher in emergencies.
  • Additionally, some players or their characters just overbarricade regardless of whether it prevents other survivors from getting to safety; it's a selfish practice that most players frown upon, but there is nothing you can do about it.

If you find a hospital with the interior description "has been smashed and ransacked," move along. You can't find FAKs in a ransacked building until the damage is repaired, and you can't repair the damage yourself until you get the Construction skill. Check back in a day or two, though, if you don't find another suitable base in the meantime, to see if some more-experienced survivor has cleaned up the ransack mess for you.

Why base yourself in a hospital? Because you can't heal anyone unless you have FAKs, and you can't find FAKs effectively anywhere else at level one.

  • The find rate for FAKs in churches is much lower than that in hospitals, and you'll end up with an inventory full of crucifixes and wine.
  • Until you can get Free Running (and remember it's going to cost you 150 XP), forget about getting into a mall; they're either barricaded so heavily that you can't get in or they're overrun with zombies.

If you have another enterable building next door or nearby, however, you may do just as well to set up your base of operations there and travel to the hospital only to scrounge for FAKs and check the condition of the survivors inside. Hospitals are prime targets for zombie break-ins, because wounded characters go there for help and because healer characters have to spend so much time inside searching for FAKs. In the more dangerous suburbs, hospitals may come under constant assault by zombie hordes.

Ending a night in a hospital isn't as bad as you may have heard, unless you're in a suburb that's red or orange on this map. If the building you're in gets broken into, however, just get the hell out of Dodge. Do NOT attempt to kill any zombies! Until you have combat skills, your chance of even being able to damage a zombie, much less kill one, are extremely low.

Your first days in practice

If you've got AP and FAKs to spare, all the patients in your hospital are fully healed up, and your hospital isn't overbarricaded, make "ambulance runs" to nearby map squares.

  • Get in the habit of checking the barricade level on your hospital or safehouse before you step outside. Almost all of us have stepped outside of a building only to realize later that some fool had overbarricaded it before we left and we can't get back inside. This is a mistake that most survivors will only make once.
  • Leave buildings by clicking on an adjacent map square, not by the "Leave X building" button. It'll save you an AP; it will also prevent you from leaving if the building you're in has been barricaded up to EHB.
  • Walk around, but no more than four or five squares in any direction, and look for survivors and enterable buildings.
  • Any survivor you find outside is likely in need of healing.
  • Any building with the description "The building's doors have been left wide open" is a prime spot for field healing, assuming there is anyone left alive inside; this usually means there has been a zombie break-in.
  • Any enterable buildings may contain potential patients, but you should also note these for future reference in case your hospital is the target of a zombie assault and you need another enterable building to retreat to. Also note the locations of enterable resource buildings near your hospital: police departments for guns and ammo, NecroTech buildings for syringes, etc.
  • Watch your AP carefully, and make sure you have enough to get back to your hospital or safehouse (and remember it costs one more AP to enter the building once you get there).

Every day, rinse and repeat, until you have 150 XP for Free Running.

The "Ok, now I know what I'm doing. I think..." phase

Once you have Free Running, you should get into the habit of staying in EHB ("extremely heavily barricaded") buildings next to hospitals. It's better to choose a safehouse that isn't a resource building (i.e., not a police department, NecroTech building, or hospital) because resource buildings are subject to increased zombie attacks.

Consider whether you want to keep a generator in your hospital. When fueled up and running, a generator increases your rate of finding FAKs and allows you to heal even more per AP/FAK with the Surgery skill. On the other hand, however, now that lighted buildings can be seen from the street, a generator may mean that your hospital will be attacked more frequently. If you have the manpower to keep your hospital secured against zombie assault, however, a generator will save you AP by reducing the time you spend scrounging for supplies.

The next skill you should get is a civilian skill called Construction, which allows you to keep buildings safe by barricading them and allows you to repair buildings that have been ransacked. Barricading is the most AP-efficient way to stay safe in Malton; if you can keep the barricades up and prevent a break-in, you don't have to kill the zombies to get them to leave, you don't have to repair ransack damage, and you don't have to revive the survivors who get killed in the process.

After that, the next few skills you should consider are:

  • The NecroTech skills, NecroTech Employment and Lab Experience: the first gives you another source of XP by using a DNA extractor to tag zombies, and the second allows you to revive characters who have died and become zombies.
  • First Aid and Surgery allow you to heal even more HP per action, the latter if you keep your hospital's generator running.
  • Shopping and Bargain Hunting greatly increase your chances of finding FAKs (and other essential supplies), but only if there's a mall nearby.
  • Body Building increases your maximum HP and thereby makes you harder to kill.

Then work on your combat skills. Remember, they'll cost you 150 XP each.

At this point, you're well-equipped to move into more dangerous suburbs (red or orange on the map) if you choose and rescue survivors from the brink of death. Or you may decide to stay and maintain your hospital until you're more experienced.

A guide can only take you so far, the rest is up to you.

"Bring 'em on!" - Medics

This section is for the modern day battle ready doctor.

"Pardon me, are you dying?": Healing without Diagnosis

When you start out, you'll have a first aid kit, but you won't have Diagnosis. So how can you tell if that survivor over there is healthy, wounded, infected, or dying?

  • If you're in a hospital and it isn't overbarricaded, many survivors in need of healing will gasp out a help message when they arrive: something like, "Infected, and bleeding badly, please heal me!" Act on these as soon as you see them, but don't be surprised if another character got to them first. (And on that subject, it's a good practice to respond with a message that tells other newbies you've healed the character who called for help: say something like, "There you go, character X" or, if you're a bit more inclined to roleplaying, "That should cure the infection, character X. Try to stay off that leg for a bit.")
  • If you're at or near full AP and have plenty of FAKs, try random healing attempts on the survivors in your current location, beginning from the bottom of the stack (the pull-down menu next to the "Use first-aid kit on" button). Start from the bottom because the characters at the top have been there longer and if they needed healing when they arrived, they're more likely to have been healed already by some other character who can diagnose.
  • If you're looking for experience points (XP), you might want to consider healing some zombies. There's less competition to heal zombies, but a FAK used on one gives the same amount of XP as a FAK used on a survivor. A good place to do this is at revive points as the zombies there are waiting for a revive, and often need to be cured of infection. Also they aren't as interested in eating you later.

The "How do you fire this gun?" phase

Now that you're settled down, you've probably realized by now that your character doesn't know the right end of a gun. Well, the best thing to do is to heal people, because that's one thing you are good at. The first thing you need to do is scout out a hospital that isn't at a barricade level that has the word "heavily" in it. Then, go back outside and walk around (no farther than 5 blocks, make sure you have the AP to do this) and look for buildings that have open doors. Go inside, and most of those survivors probably need health. If any survivors are outside, they probably need a healing as well.

Once you have 75 XP, buy Basic Firearms Training. Now that you know how to fire the darned thing, spend some time in a police department stocking up on ammo. Now, get out there and shoot zombies like it's going out of style. If you're in a dangerous suburb (click on that link, it's important), get 75 XP for Free Running, then save up 150 XP for Diagnosis.

Once you have the three skills mentioned here, move right along.

The "Shoot, Heal, Repeat" phase

You have learned the fine art of shooting zombies while dis-infecting and bandaging a huge 5 inch gash. Now you just need to learn how to do both well. Now would be a good time to buy Construction. The next skills you should buy (in no particular order) are:

After all that is done, Surgery would be a super idea.

A guide can only take you so far, and I can only hope I've set you on the right track.

Closing Comments

There are a few words I'd like to say, and some recommendations I'd like to make.

Joining a group is a good way to ensure your safety (I'd recommend finishing phase two first), but it ties you down to one area. There are a few exceptions. If you join a group that moves around a lot, then you're anything but tied down. One good group that I would like to recommend is the MEMS, a branch of the MFD. From what I can tell, they're kinda all over and you should be able to get a transfer. (Not in the group myself, so I can't be sure.) Pretty much any group on the Malton Hospitals Group list of hospitals might be a good idea as well. (I am in no way affiliated with the MFD, MEMS, or any other group I might have mentioned, with the exception of MHG.)

A lot of crazy stuff happens in this city. You're just here to clean it up.

FYI- One advantage joining the MEMS is the Academy. You'll be assigned to a campus message board where cadets, and instructors will post the locations of survivors in need of healing. Initial skilling up is easier when you know exactly where to go to find people in need of healing.

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